Hello everyone! A warm welcome to our new friends AND a beginning of The Empire Strikes Back Ice World cold welcome to this brave (meaning…whatever) new world for the Sens as well as the Sensternet (patent barfing).
First I’ll address the rumors surrounding my recent absence: Yes, I WAS clinically dead. Something something, translucent goo from the 1994 Robert DeNero – Kenneth Branagh buddy comedy Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein brought me back from the Abyss (another movie about goo)
I think that yall (French for ‘you all’) covered as many bases that can be covered in New Zealand Rules American Baseball about the recent announcement by The Euge stating…hold on … lemme just check my notes here…mmm’kay, “Melnyk to Media: Anyone who thinks we should blow the team up can go blow themselves… …up” …nope, nope…that’s dated a couple years ago…I should really update my Newton. Oh, heres a newer one…”Melnyk to Hall of Mirrors that he thinks is a press conference: Everybody best buckle the FUDGE up in this funk mobile and come along and ride on this fantastic voyage that will be journey to the Stanley Cup FOREVER”…Oops…hilarious but not the one. OH HERE IT IS “Melnyk to Unplugged CB Radio at Bert’s Bar: Now I am become Death. Destroyer of Core Rosters.”
So, that’s something that happened, wasn’t it? So we have all travelled through each other’s trust caves and expressed our inner most feelings about how the team we’ve grown to be really REALLY bummed out watching/not watching after one period will more or less cease to exist for the ….*shudder* next couple of seasons in order to build for a more Pajarvi-Svenklestein-esque future.
To directly quote one of the all time greats:
“At this juncture, the current paradigm is in the process of shifting”
– Bob Dylan, Two Time Source Awards Nominee
That said, aside from the almost, oh so close to confirmed rumour of Filip Kuba to Detroit for Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Babcock, 2 first round picks in 2011 and 2012 and the TV movie rights to “Never Let Me Go Wunder Grandpa: The Nicklas Lidstrom Story” … it is pretty safe to say that it is going to be a very different looking Binghamtottawa Senators next season. As much as were all hoping for a team with fewer stars than the skies over Tokyo during a full moon * deservedly pelted with garbage/sarcasm at 100%* surly the team will leave us SOMETHING to look at for the upcoming HUNDREDS OF GAMES TO GO BEFORE THE TEAM IS GOOD AGAIN. – Quick clarification: Good right now for me is defined by a 4-1 loss at home or better – Obviously the entire roster isn’t going to change overnight.
Smooth Jimmy’s Aktivity Korner (.angelfire.net)!
So since this is being framed as a straight up rebuild let’s assume that all prospects and Binghamton Senators are safe and sound and snug in their beds…
What I want to know is who are the 5 current roster players would most want to see protected moving forward and WHYYYYYYY *sob sob sob* WHYYYYYYY? Now, lets be creative here, I don’t want to see the same Kuba, Kovalev, Leclaire Cheechoo, Schubert list over and over. Besides I’m pretty sure Kovalev was put on waivers last season.
1. Jason Spezza: Yeah he makes Eleventy Billion Dollareedoos a month (all Australian figures) but please climb aboard this house boat I built in the shape of Spezza’s face. It is a house boat that floats on a sea of first line centres being the new puck moving defensemen / jade monkey skull of hockey rarity. When this team emerges from the dark ages we will likely STILL need a first line pivot as even if Ottawa picks up a new blue chip C, it will still take time to get him or her prepared for their upcoming role (see: Tavares, Jonathan; see also: Upper Body Strength, tons of needed). As many tears it will produce from some clowns, we may be looking at our new captain here. I personally think it’s a role he has a good chance of thriving under and can finally silence those praying to teen Jesus (or equivalent) for more maturity from the Spezz Digressor. Onward Spezzboat.
2. Erik Karlsson: Sophomore undersized, all star defenseman second on team in points? Sophomore undersized, all star defenseman second on team in points. (also of note: Everyone else’s list)
3. Milan Michalek: It’s called spending to the cap MINIMUM people. Seriously, if this team is going to be gutted and its assumed by Me-irre McGuire that Spezza will stay on as No.1 C, he is going to have some WHACKY(er) dance partners on the first line (Bobby Butler?, Corey Feldman?, Peter Ochocinco?) we need to have at least ONE dude who is a legit top 6 NHL player on the wing. Im saying this just because he has been awesome lately (all things considered) but for that AND also because he works quite hard and I don’t really think he has had a full opportunity to strut his stuff here in Ottawa. I also long for this team to have a semi-stable first line / don’t know anything about anything. Also, can we save any frigging face from the whole Heatley garbage dump trade?
4. Christobal Kelly: I choose to protect Kelly because he is so good at reading cue cards and is emerging as a cheaper/less frustrating Mike Fisher. Fisher is obviously prime trade bait at this point and a poster boy for an over paid underperforming core and will likely go and Kelly is having a great season (again, all things considered). He could also finally start the “Unckie Chris’ L’il Defensive Forward Mentorship Programme” for all the two way kids coming up….and Jason Spezza can hire someone to take notes for him during the “How to NOT turn over Peter Puck” seminar.
5. Daniel Alfredsson / Chris Phillips: Now that you have all stopped gasping…this was hard. The Right Honorable Daniel Alfredsson, for me, a huge fan…who finally bought my long coveted Daniel Alfredsson jersey THIS YEAR OF ALL YEARS is not a guy I WANT to see go at all. As a fan of Dear Leader, I acknowledge that he has done more for this franchise than any other player and picked up the slack in a post Daigleppointment Alexei Yashole world. That said, he is 38 and still carrying the team on his aging back…Pappa Alfie wants to win the cup somewhere else before for starts his training to be our next coach/GM? I didn’t hold it against Mats Sundin when he left the Barfs so I’m sure as hell not going to blame The Strawberry Blonde Admiral. Its up to you Pappa Alfie. He gets a half a spot here.
Phillips is the far more controversial choice here. So yes, we have 11 year old prospect Jared Cowbell waiting in the wings…but seriously, the Sens are being handed losses at a five goal margin in this Post-Volchenolyptic war zone… I don’t know if I could handle Phillips gone too. For the love of Pete, I would hope they’ll be another defensive defenseman or two coming up in the near future and there is an opportunity for Phillips to serve as mentor to these young pups at a cheaper than current rate . Also, we need a couple of dudes to stop Karlsson from being constantly smashied in the face area by what is becoming a seriously terrifying Boston Bruins squad. He also might serve as mentor for a seminar called “DON’T DO WHAT CHRIS PHILLIPS DOES” so he gets half a place here…btw Chris: YOU ARE BEING OUT CLASSED BY MATT CARKNER RIGHT NOW…YOURE A FORMER #!1 PICK IN A CONTRACT YEAR FOR CORN SAKES PICK IT UP.
Your thoughts? And though now that there are two more writers, I doubt we have anymore readers…but if you are reading this join in the comments sext-tion with your top five. For an added bit of fun add your hopes for Coach and GM of tthhhhhheeeeeee fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuutuuuuuuuuuuuure
It’s gon be hard for me to write an equally spirited 35,000 words to match James…
FIRST: I wanna say that I would trade Spezza if I could get a reasonable return. 1st line centers are rare, but not ultra rare. Certainly not so rare that you couldn’t pick one up with, say, a top five pick. I’d like to keep him around, but it’s tough to think of paying him $7M per to be hurt and frustrating. He’s already sorta proven that he can’t play near his ceiling without an elite winger, and he’s not gonna get one for a few years, so what’s the point? By the time the team is ready his contract with be up and he’ll prolly walk for nothing. May as well trade him soonish, while he’s young and his value is high(er) than wait until his arm breaks clean off. And as for Michalek: dude is going to literally shatter some day. I don’t want it to happen in a Sens uniform. Having said that, I think he makes $6M next year (eeeeeeeeiiiiish), so he’s not getting traded anywhere.
OKAY GET ON WITH IT:
Again, assuming that all non-roster players (Cowen, Lehner) are automatically protected…
Erik Karlsson: yup, he’s going to be one of those guys. He’s not Drew Doughty or Duncan Keith or anything, but he’ll be mister 1A someday, and I wouldn’t trade him for anything outside of a top five draft pick right now. I only wish we could freeze him in carbonite and enjoy his prime years when this team is ready to compete again, which is to say, when our world resembles Virtuosity.
Nick Foligno: first, because he’s young, and cheap, and exactly the kind of depth player we’ll want, and second because we’re not going to get anything for him anyway. He’s got a lot of years ahead of him, and one bum season (though what a shitty bum it is) isn’t enough for me to throw him to the wolverines.
Peter Regin: See Foligno, Nick. Cheap, young, not going to get anything in return. We can afford to wait and see how he pans out.
And…that’s it. I would trade every single other player if I could. Someone on Silver Seven pointed out that almost as exciting as the top five pick is how every subsequent round is also a high pick, and that’s as important to the drafting plan. If we could fill out those rounds – especially the second – I would trade away the Scotia Bank Seats if I had to.
Man, is it ever going to be weird when the All Star Game is in Ottawa next year.
I respectfully disagree with asspezzment. Its true that he has suffered from injury lately as is what tends to happen when one is hit from behind headfirst into the boards, but everyone so easily forgets that when Spezza DID come back from injury last season, he decided to become a scoring machine and basically got the team a spot in the playoffs. Also, seriously ONE win without him AND is tied for 5th for the team for scoring with almost 20 games less than most players…I hear what youre saying he hasn’t been a 90 point per year player without a 50 goal man on his wing i just dont think he is the total plug people make him out to be…If the Sens get that game changer that Melnyk so badly wants…I’d still like to see Spezza dishing them out. I dont know why I sent this rebuttle …
It’s cool! I agree with you that he’s a good player. I just think it’s a bit like the Kessel situation in Toronto: I don’t want to pay someone prime money to have one brilliant play every game that results in a goal but the team still loses 4-1. If Spezz won’t be surrounded with the players he needs to make this team work, then I’d rather get a good return for him.
So…Murray denies reports, wants to remain GM, thinks team is one year away from contending, AKA cements his demise.
Re Murray article on the canoe: AHHH HELL NO!!! I’m done with his shawvillian shenanigans. Take the gig as an advisor and enjoy the senior (advisor) citizen discount. Your 2010-11 plan to force the other team to block your team’s shots (in lieu of the Sens blocking shots) was neither clever or…a frickin plan. On to the next…
THE DAY BEFORE THE TRADE DEADLINE
Everyone who is from Sweden raise your hand. Ok you guys can go to the locker room…and you are not the biggest losers.
If you giggle with an uncontrolled fury, you’re safe. You know where to go.
You had a bad season and share your name with a commonly used screwdriver. If you promise to play nice, you’re in.
Name rhymes with begin? You’re golden. The remaining “athletes”…beat it.
…James, if I can’t ride shotgun in the Spezza faced house boat, we’ll have a tough time being friends.
I can’t wait until this team signs Sergei Federov.
Bryan Murray can you stop stirring the pot FOR A SECOND.
God, imagine this guy wasnt running a sports team but just giving servers
the HARDEST time about coupons at Swiss Chalet all the live long day?
At least he’d be bugging a few less people.
…also THIS just in from the Ottawa Citizen:
Area man working on Spezza head shaped houseboat. When pressed for comment the man said, “Wu Tang is for the children!” Details as they develop. Click the link below for an exclusive video!
Inspectah Deck had this to say about the Sens season: “They bomb atomically, Socrates’ philosophies and hypothesis can’t define how they be droppin these mockeries.”
Conrad: Nothing says rebuilding like signing more aging Russians …. oh wait.
Murray seriously needs to just stop everything that he is doing. A day after everyone is happy about, well not Melnyk’s announcement, but at least happy about what Roy MacGregor wrote in the Globe and Mail about Murray becoming a sort of team consultant – he has to go and blow everything up again. Also, if there is any truth to Melnyk doing interviews for the GM position, Murray should maybe SHUT HIS GIANT PIE HOLE! Man, is his face going to be red when Melnyk announces a new GM at the end of the year ……. At this point, I don’t really care who it is. It’s time to get fresh blood and a new perspective in the GM office and the ol’ Bank. The only reason I can see Murray keeping his job is that he is telling the media that a one year rebuild is possible (must be one hell of a draft this year!), and since he is behind the table at the trade deadline, it makes sense for him to see this rebuild through.
Bryan Murray told the Team 1200 that Alfie is essentially untouchable, and that he has said time and time again that he wants to retire as a Senator. At this point, that should pretty much cement the will they or won’t they argument about retiring his jersey number. Considering these remarks, I will leave him off my list of the protected five.
King K: This one is pretty obvious. The kid is second in team scoring (only one point behind our Fearless Leader) and although he makes his share of defensive blunders, he is by and far the best D-man on the team. This kid is going to have an amazing career (maybe even a possible candidate for future captain, not after Alfie of course, but after that, who knows?). Taking his age into consideration, is this kid seriously only 20?! It is important that he is a key part of the rebuilding. He’s been with the big club for about two years now, and this year in a big way. He can help the new kids feel more comfortable so the young ‘uns don’t feel like they are coming into such a pre-established locker room.
Milan Michalek – I’ve complained about him this season as much as the next person, but these past few games he has shown how good he can be. Now that he is (finally!!) getting his skating legs back, it is amazing to see the power with which he drives to the net. On top of that, he makes a lot less than many top 6 players (his annual cap hit is $4.3M versus Spezza’s $7M) and James is right that it would be nice to save just a little face in the entire Heatley debacle.
Chris Neil – Neil gets on the ice and plays his heart out every night for this team. He fights guys to bring up team morale, sometimes even guys on our team (at least it’s during practice). At $2M, there is no way we can afford to get rid of this guy especially because his value is so intrinsic to Ottawa and his trade value wouldn’t be very high.
Jesse Winchester – On the third line with Neil, and another guy who plays his best game every night. I love seeing him (and Neil) battle for the pucks, skate hard and actually forecheck unlike some other lines that will go mentioned. These guys are the reason that Ottawa can boast any depth at all. His cap hit is a ridiculous 750K … that right, he’s not even over the million mark. He’s got another year left on this contract and he’s shown to be a promising player – it’s worth taking the risk and hopefully we’ll see his trade value rise over the next season.
Jason Spezza – He’s an oft-injured, unreliable center who makes $7M …. it’s just not worth trading him. If Clouston could stop juggling his lines for five minutes, Michalek and Spezza could develop some real chemistry. I would like to see Spezza leading the charge, when Alfie steps down. He is a really great player, WHEN he’s playing and I feel like the younger players will look up to him. I also like that he isn’t afraid to show a little displeasure towards the media, or the oftentimes fickle fans in Ottawa. Right now he is skating with the team, even if he is avoiding contract drills so who knows maybe we’ll have him back after the All Star break. Not that it would help us if he suddenly became an insane goal scoring machine (because that means finishing 10th or 11th in the East, instead of in the bottom five), but it would be nice to get a few on the board and avoid repeating last week’s performances against the Flyers and the Habs.
I would kill to be a fly on the wall in the ScotiaBankPlace offices these days …. let’s see if Murray says anything else upsetting to the media over the all star break.